CSEA WORK Institute e-Learning Center

CSEA Civil Service Test Preparation Booklets

The CSEA WORK Institute offers 32 test preparation booklets that are designed to help individuals prepare to take state and local government civil service exams. Booklet titles correspond with topics listed on civil service exam announcements under the heading "Subject of Written Examination."
Not sure which booklets you'll need?

CSEA WORK Institute Test Prep Bookstore

For your convenience, we have added a new section to the e-Learning Center. At our new CSEA WORK Institute Test Preparation Bookstore, nonmembers can place orders for test preparation booklets and videos for home delivery and pay securely with a credit or debit card.

Click here to visit our bookstore.

To mail order hard copies, download our 2015 booklet order form.
We cannot take phone orders because we cannot accept payment via credit or debit cards over the phone for booklets and videos. If you would like to order using a credit or debit card, please do so at our bookstore (link above). Please be aware that prices on the order form reflect pricing when paying by check or money order.

Which booklets do you need?

In general, you won't find a single booklet whose title matches the title of your test, but you might find several that match your test's topics.

If you are applying for a New York State civil service exam, you can check out our state exam topic lookup tool for a listing of the topics on your announcement, corresponding materials from our catalog, and links to any outside reference sources we know about for topics we don't cover.

If you are applying for a New York municipal civil service exam, you can check out our local exam topic lookup tool for a listing of the topics we know about that appear on exam announcements for the test series. You can compare this list with the topics on your announcement to find corresponding materials from our catalog and links to any outside reference sources we know about for topics we don't cover for your test. These lists are not necessarily comprehensive, and we don't necessarily have every series; if you see a topic that is not mentioned for your series or if you've already applied to take a currently announced test in a series we don't have listed, please give us a call 866-478-5548 or email Trevor Robertson.

The exam announcement for a Civil Service position will give you a list of the topics on the test for that position under one of the following headings:

Subject of Examination:
Subject of Written Examination:
Scope of Examination:

For example (mouse over the image below):

Your exam announcement must be for your position only or for your position and others in the same series (e.g., the state Principal Clerical Series) in order to have a Subject of Exam section. If it's a statement of several unrelated positions put out as a general announcement by your local civil service office, it will not list subjects of examination for any of the positions announced.

For topics you don't see on our order form:
In general, if you don't see it, we don't have it, but sometimes one of our books will provide full or at least partial coverage for a topic with a different name on your announcement.

Some common topics we cover in booklets with different names:

  • Clerical Operations with Letters and Numbers - book 20
  • Clerical Checking - book 20
  • Filing - book 20
  • Organizing Data into Tables and Records - book 26
  • Evaluating Information and Evidence - book 12 or 14
  • Arithmetic Computation with (or without) calculator - book 2
  • Number Facility - book 2
  • Court Record Keeping - approximate match, book 26
  • Basic Computer Concepts - partial match, book 23
  • Office Management - partial match, book 24
  • Advising and Interacting with Others - partial match, book 13
  • Providing Good Customer Service - partial match, book 13
Our 32 books cover a relatively small number of the most common of the hundreds of topics found on the thousands of civil service exams administered around the state.

Some subject areas where we have NO SPECIFIC MATERIAL:

♦ Science/Engineering
♦ Human Resources/Staff Development
♦ Computer Programming/Database Management

If you've checked your exam announcement and you aren't sure whether one of our books can help you, give us a call at 866-478-5548 or email Trevor Robertson.

CSEA members may download these books for free by clicking here.
Newly updated material is indicated. First-time users will need to activate an account in order to access the books. Please remember to change your password and set a security question after you log in for the first time.